A new modelling study by a team of Harvard scientists demonstrates that the coronavirus is unlikely to be stopped by a one-off lockdown, and social distancing measures could be intermittently needed well into 2022.
While none of us who are currently working from home and homeschooling want to hear that from a sanity perspective, the reality is in this new uncertain world, it seems sensible to rely on scientific data about the scale and size of globally containing the virus once a vaccine is available.
And that means the reality of social distancing that we are living now could well become a part of our lives for the foreseeable future.
It’s not all bad. Many people I have talked to are already starting to feel the benefits of being able to physically slow down. Not commuting or doing endless children’s activity runs. Having more efficient meetings via video, and spending more time with their family. There are, however, challenges around working from home with children, and the mental health challenges for people who are suddenly isolated without human connection.
One thing for certain, however, is the way we live will not be the same as it was on the other side of the pandemic. And the way we do business will not either.
In financial services, I have seen some great beginnings of a pivot from some financial planners, accountants and bookkeepers who are developing new ways to work with their clients. This is predominately on how to deal with government changes and stimulus packages, but over time this will certainly become a new way of business for the advice and finance professional.
This may well lower the cost to serve clients, as more relationships become virtual, and mass communications become standard for client relationships.
But it will mean some consideration and investment given to technology and new processes to deliver to.
It’s those that are starting to move toward that new world early who are tackling the beast of change head on and will capitalise on disruption to business for the coming years. Those who are sitting there waiting for this to be over in six months will then be left to figure out how it all works in an environment where social distancing is intermittently used to contain outbreaks over time.
Now is the time to think of how to change your business for the new world order. Don’t waste time at home trying to do business as usual. Times of change are opportunities to change the status quo and find better ways of doing things. Smart operators are already working on what that looks like.
May we live in interesting times.
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